As I’m beginning my running journey, I thought it would be approporate to read a running book, something to motivate me while I started running. The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais was recommended to me from a Facebook fitness group by a few women and I thought I would give it a try. I have to say it wasn’t what I was expecting and not exactly in a good way.
Dais is like most average women in America… or what I imagine to be average women. She is a woman similar to me anyway, and I like to consider myself as average. She prefers movie marathons to running marathons and loves eating copious amounts of Cheetos, or she at least loves talking about eating Cheetos. Her book, Nonrunner’s, is 256 pages on how she managed to go from hating running to running a marathon (26.2 miles) while still hating running. The book is full of tips, journal entries, and lots of sarcasm. Dais starts you off at the beginning of her marathon journey and you go along with her as she recaps her pain, suffering, and success. There are places in the book where she encourages you to put in your goals, reasons, doubts, and thoughts as you train for your own marathon.
Dais and I have a couple things in common like enjoying pizza and never really having finished anything before. However, there is one major thing we don’t have in common… running a marathon. I’m not currently running a marathon and I’m not wanting to run a marathon now either. My thoughts on running a marathon are “I’ll do that later once I’ve managed to run 5k, 10k, and a half marathon.” That’s mainly because I want to actually run/jog instead of walk. I can’t even currently run a mile, so I’m working up to that goal. Dais did the opposite of what I’m planning and just went for it. I applaud her, but that is not something that I could do.
After reading Nonrunner’s, I thought that maybe I just didn’t enjoy her book because I’m not planning on running a marathon right now. Reading the introduction again where she talks about how she “frequently get[s] emails from people who have read this book and have been inspired to train for a marathon as a result,” I realized that just wasn’t the case. Even if it didn’t inspire me to run a marathon, I was hoping it would at least inspire me to run. That’s why I’m reading it! However, Dais’s negative based sarcasm really pulled me down and did the opposite of that. After I had fished reading something particularly cynical I felt mentally drained. This is not what I was looking for at all! But I kept reading because I wanted to hear the end of her story and despite her negativity, she has some good tips for running.
Dais has a friend that she runs with and talks a lot about called Chipper Jen. Chipper Jen is someone who is happy and positive all the time and someone who Dais frequently teases (in a friendly way) for being enthusiastic about running. Chipper Jen is the foil to Dais. On a scale from Dawn Dais to Chipper Jen, I am much closer to a Jen. The perfect example of this would be a hike I went on during a business trip for the foreigners in my school district. I was the only one who was pumping my arms in excitement over the 2 upcoming hikes of the day. I think since I am closer to a Jen, it would have been better for me to read a book written by a Jen. Dais’s outlook just didn’t fit my personality.
Overall, this just wasn’t the right fit for me, but I know plenty of women who would love this book! You just really need to think about what kind of attitude inspires you. If you enjoy sardonic sense of humor, this book is exactly what you are looking for. If you need something a little more sunny and uplifting, I would look elsewhere.